Ingalls Peak 7662ft
North Peak, South Face (5.6)
November 2, 2007
It's Fall and today I found myself in one of my favorite places this time of year: The Alpine Lakes Wilderness near Ingalls Peak! My friend Andrew Marvel was interested in doing some alpine climbing, so I suggested the East Ridge of Ingalls Peak. Kim and I had climbed the South Face some years ago, and she welcomed a sunny day of hiking, fresh air, and beautiful scenery.
There was quite a bit of snow on the other side of Ingalls Pass. We were surprised of the prominent boot pack through the snow leading up to Ingalls Lake. Most of the larch trees had lost their golden needles, but a few remained to offer brillance to the otherwise stark alpine landscape.
At the lake, Kim decided to just hang out and wait while Andrew and I climbed the east ridge. So we left the second rope and some extra gear with Kim, then headed up the snowy rocks to the gully leading to the beginning of the east ridge route.
About halfway up the gully we encountered some hard snow, so we decided to pull out the rope and tie in. Since we didn't have crampons or ice axes so we decided it would be prudent to back off and just climb the normal south face. The south face is much shorter, so that would help us get back down without too much headlamp use!
Kim could see us down climbing the gully so she called up to us about what we were doing. We told her we were heading to the normal route and proceeded to traverse under the east face to the Dog Tooth crags where the route begins.
We followed a boot track in the snow up around Dog Tooth crags, to where we could scramble up to where the route begins. Two and a half, fun pitches later we were standing on the summit taking in the views. We could see Kim down by the lake so we waved and yelled "hello". All the hiking around took longer than we had planned so we took a few quick summit shots, then started the rappels.
I had forgotten that the second rappel leaves you about 12 feet short of the belay ledge with a 60m rope, so we carefully down climbed from there. The last (fourth) rappel directly down to the trail/snow in front of Dog Tooth crags, also leaves you about 10 feet of downclimbing before you reach easier ledges. Once down we packed away the rope then carefully made our way down the hard snow to where Kim was waiting. She had a relaxing, although chilly, afternoon listening to the ice on the lake crack, and admiring the beautiful surroundings.
On the hike out we were treated to a beautiful sunset before we had to don our headlamps. Thanks Kim and Andrew for a fun day!